What on earth has happend to www.chow.com? Design and layout
I haven't been on the site for some time. Probably about 2 years.
When I worked for Jamie Oliver, Chow had a great design, exciting editorial content, videos, awesome layout and typography.
We considered it a real benchmark for exciting and innovate food news online.
What has happened?
It seems to be just a mess of adverts, and a mish mash of content.
Did someone leave? Did the company get closed down or did the entire creative team just quit?
what happened, does anyone know?
I've been posting on Chowhound for years and was never aware of Chow.com back at the beginning. I believe it was a totally separate site, operated by CNet and the two were merged when CNet bought Chowhound in 2006. CBS then bought CNet in 2008. The site visuals were changed around that time too.
For me, the Chowhound boards are the place for food and restaurant intelligience.
My understanding was that under CNET the magazine format was launched, CHOW, and both have been navigational from each other (www.chow.com) (www.chowhound.com) since that time. The layout, design and team have gone thru several changes since CNET....and I imagine will continue to be. My dh & I have been posting under this s/n since 2006 and under another from the time JL launched CH.
Curious as to what 'time' you're refering to. I'm not sure what Chow.com was like or exactly when it was created, but I'm opretty sure that I was aware that it did exist at the time CNet acquired these boards. The domain name "chow.,com" has been in existance since 1995, and chowhound.com since 1996. Did Jim register and create both of them?
You'll have to ask JL. No clue on his part regarding CHOW. Or when chow.com the domain took hold. What I recall as a member is a non-CNET message board and JL at the helm. Then a CNET partnership with new interface for chowhound.com, then a CHOW mag, then a CBS sale, and the last three redesigns under CBS. I'm sure fellow CH's can specify the timeline and the evolution far better than I can.
My understanding is that chow.com and chowhound.com were completely separate sites that just so happened to have an overlapping audience. And when CNET bought them both, they decided that the two sites should hook up.
Here's an interview that sheds some light on the history: http://www.ojr.org/ojr/stories/070925...
In any case, I agree that the chow.com redesign of 2010 was pretty much an unqualified failure. They made a few adjustments after numerous complaints, but obviously not enough to keep the site usable. I'm not sure why they haven't changed back to their previous design; my guess is that someone's ego is on the line.
Thanks for the link guilty!
Jane Goldman states: Jim Leff co-founded Chowhound in 1997, and he sold it to CNET in March 2006. During all those years it was staffed with volunteers, paid for by the founders and a few occasional donations. I founded CHOW magazine with Carol Balacek, who ran the business side. It was completely unrelated to Chowhound. It was a print magazine, and the first issue appeared in November, 2004. CNET acquired CHOW magazine in April 2006. CNET's intention was to combine the two, and we all started working for CNET in May.
To fill in the blanks: When the magazine CHOW existed, its online counterpart's URL was chowmag.com; chow.com was at the time a domain registered by somebody with the name Chow so his family members could have a Chow email address. CNET had enough money and clout (or whatever it took) to get the Chow domain.
I also want to say thanks for this thread. I've got some questions, but mostly it's very helpful to hear these observations.
I never wander over to Chow so I had to go see for myself. Had I visited Chow.com searching for answers to my food questions and was presented with that page I'd see it as a weird lightweight vanity effort and wouldn't take the time to investigate further based on the home page:
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re: MplsM ary
I think the problem with the new Chow is that it's hard to locate the section of interest if it doesn't happen to be one of the areas featured (by picture only) at the top of the screen. At least with a typical print magazine there is some sort of table of contents you can look at that will tell you where each section is. I have complained multiple times about the new layout on site talk and none of the promised changes of a ride side nav (with something other than most recent posts) have yet to occur.
Sadly... these big corporates dont have a clue. It isnt about content, it isnt about food. its about advertising, its about ROI and its about making money. MAXIMISING PROFIT.
Something great, and something creative has the LIFE SUCKED out of it becuase some big shot exec at the top decides the numbers need to be a little higher.
So all the creative people leave and the once fantastic product, goes down the toilet.
Not sure about the CHOW team jumping ship, I still see many familiar names contributing to the content but I completely agree about the layout. I was logged in using a friends AOL account once and the CHOW page was completely unreadable. The comment section framing is off and overall design is confusing to the eye. If you have a small screen, you're def. having a lousy experience. I haven't bothered with CHOW at all since the recent site rework and I was a fan before it.